Does Early-Onset Alzheimer's Progress Faster?

Does Early-Onset Alzheimer's Progress Faster?
Young onset alzheimer's dementia occurs before the age of 65 yrs old

What is Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease?

Early onset Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that occurs before the patient reaches the age of 65. It is characterized by the loss of memory, as well as difficulty communicating and thinking. Common signs include confusion, behavioral changes, and difficulty with everyday tasks. In some cases, the symptoms may appear more suddenly.

Alzheimer's can be categorized as either early-onset or late-onset. Early-onset refers to an individual who develops it before the age of 65, while late-onset refers to someone who develops it after the age of 65. It is estimated that about 5 percent of all diagnosed Alzheimer's cases are classified as early-onset.

Symptoms of Early Onset Alzheimer’s

The most common symptom of early-onset Alzheimer’s is memory loss, including difficulty in retrieving information, lack of insight, and impaired judgment. Other symptoms may include:

  • Personality changes
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Confusion
  • Trouble speaking and writing
  • Difficulty recognizing familiar objects
  • Decreased reasoning abilities
  • Decreased problem solving skills
  • Decreased ability to recognize faces, places, and people

The progression of early-onset Alzheimer's varies from person to person, however, the rate of progression is generally faster than in late-onset cases.

The average progression of early-onset Alzheimer’s can vary a great deal, depending on many different factors. Age of onset, family history and lifestyle can all affect the progress of the disease.

Generally, those who are affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s can expect the condition to get worse over time. The rate at which it progresses can vary depending on individual factors.

Age of Onset:

One factor that affects the progression rate of early-onset Alzheimer’s is the age of onset. Those who develop the condition at a younger age may progress faster than those who develop it later in life.

Family History:

Having a family history of Alzheimer’s disease can also affect progression rate. If a direct family member has had the condition before, it is more likely that an individual will progress faster than those without a family history.


Finally, lifestyle can play a role in the rate of progression for early-onset Alzheimer’s. Those who take care of their health, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and maintain an active social life may be able to slow down the rate of progression.

Although the disease can progress differently for each person, understanding how the factors listed above can affect the progression rate can help individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s plan for the future and receive the best possible care.

Does Early-Onset Alzheimer's Progress Faster?

Early-onset Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that occurs in individuals younger than 65, although most cases start between the ages of 45 and 65. It is an irreversible and progressive brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.

It is possible for individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's to experience a faster progression rate than other sufferers. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as genetics and environmental exposure.


Genetic factors may play a role in how quickly early-onset Alzheimer's progresses. Inheriting certain genetic mutations from a parent can increase the risk of developing the disease, as well as the rate at which it progresses. For example, researchers have identified a gene called ApoE4 which may increase the risk of developing the disease and accelerate its progression.


Environmental factors can also affect the progression rate of early-onset Alzheimer's, particularly in those who have the ApoE4 gene. Exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, can increase the risk of developing the condition and potentially accelerate its progression.

Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise have also been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's and potentially accelerating its progression. Therefore, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing the condition and slow its progression.

Treatments for Early Onset Alzheimer's

If you have been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's, you may be wondering what treatment options are available to you. The good news is that there are a number of different treatments you can explore, depending on your individual needs.

The most common medication prescribed for Early Onset Alzheimer's is Aricept (donepezil). It has been clinically proven to help slow the progression of cognitive decline and memory loss. Other medications, such as Namenda (memantine) and Exelon (rivastigmine) are also prescribed.

In addition to medication, there are also therapies available to help manage the symptoms of Early Onset Alzheimer's. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps individuals cope with the changes brought on by the disease. It can be used to improve communication skills, social interaction, and daily functioning.

Another option is reminiscence therapy, which encourages individuals to recall memories from their past life. This therapy can help individuals reconnect with their prior selves and maintain their sense of identity.

Finally, computer-based cognitive training is a great way to help with memory and cognitive issues. This form of therapy involves completing tasks on a computer, such as matching pictures or playing word games.

No matter what treatment option you choose, it is important to remember that these therapies and medications will not completely cure Early Onset Alzheimer's. However, they can be used to help slow down the progression of the disease and make it easier to cope with the symptoms.

Caring for Someone with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

Having a loved one diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s can be a traumatic experience. While it’s important to seek professional medical help, it’s also essential to create a support network to help care for the individual. This includes several key players such as family members, friends, and professional carers.

When caring for someone with early-onset Alzheimer’s, it’s important to remember that there are no shortcuts. Everyone involved will need to stay patient and supportive of the individual, while also taking the necessary steps to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Support Networks and Respite Options

Creating a strong support network is paramount for anyone suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s. Family members, friends, neighbours and local support services should all be contacted to provide assistance. It’s also paramount to look into respite options, which enables the caregiver to take a break while still ensuring that their loved one is being looked after.

Organizing a support network is often stressful and time-consuming. There are organisations and support groups available to help with the process, where members can share their experiences and get advice from experts. Joining a local support group can also provide much needed social interaction and companionship.

Finally, it is important to look into the legal aspects of caring for someone with early-onset Alzheimer’s. This includes establishing an enduring guardianship or power of attorney, and making sure that your loved one’s finances and assets are secure. It’s important to seek professional advice in order to make the right decisions that will protect your loved one’s rights and interests.

Caring for someone with early-onset Alzheimer’s is a challenging task, both physically and emotionally. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Reach out to your community, utilise available services and do not be afraid to ask for help when needed.


Early-onset Alzheimer’s can be a devastating diagnosis for individuals and their families. Learning about the disease, how it progresses and the treatments available is essential to making sure that those affected receive the best possible care.

This guide has provided an overview of what early-onset Alzheimer’s is, how it progresses, and how it can progress faster than in other sufferers, as well as some of the treatments, support networks and resources available to help individuals and their communities deal with the condition.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to your local Alzheimer’s Society for more information. Additionally, seeking support from family and friends can be invaluable during this difficult time.